ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Electric scooters are officially available for rent in downtown St. Petersburg as dozens of Veo and Razor scooters are lined up in corrals located throughout the city.
The timeline for the roll out of the scooters was delayed, in part because of the pandemic, but Mayor Rick Kriseman was glad that the city waited.
"Sometimes it makes sense to take your time. Let's see what others are doing. Let's learn from the things they did right and the things they did wrong,” he said.
St. Pete's scooters have a couple features that are different from other cities, including Tampa. One of the most noticeable differences, the Razor scooters come with seats. Additionally, scooters are supposed to be driven on the road, in contrast to Tampa where sidewalk riding is permissible.
Then there is the matter of where the scooters must be parked. In an effort to keep scooters from being strewn across the city, riders must return them to a designated corral. If you try to 'end your ride' outside of a corral, the app will not allow you, and your card will continue to be charged.
If you do choose to ride one, you'll need to be aware of restricted areas.
“There are areas called no ride zones where if our customers approach it, the scooter will slow down to almost a complete stop," explained Mo Asghari, the territory manager for Veo. That includes areas like the pier.
Both scooters can reach speeds of 15 mph, but Veo allows you to cap your speed at 8 miles per hour in 'education mode.'
With seats and the option for slower speeds, St. Pete hopes this will not just be a fun toy, but a real alternative for eco-friendly travel.
“And so I think what we've done here, what we've tried to do is to create an opportunity for people of all ages and all comfort levels to get out of their cars and use a different means of transportation to get around our downtown," Kriseman said.
Both Veo and Razor have said that they are increasing cleaning on the scooters because of the ongoing pandemic.
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